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Inside Politics

New CNN Poll: 63 Percent Of Biden Supporters Say Their Vote Is "Against Trump", 37 Percent Say It's "For Biden"; Trump Seems To Reference Political Retribution After Immunity Ruling; New CNN Poll: 75 Percent Of Voters Say Dems' 2024 Chances Are Better If Someone Other Than Biden Is Nominee; 60th Anniversary Of 1964 Civil Rights Act. Aired 12:30-1p ET

Aired July 02, 2024 - 12:30   ET




DANA BASH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. We're going to keep diving into our brand new CNN poll. My panel is back with me. David Chalian, I want to show a set of numbers that you and I were talking off about off camera that should be another bit of silver lining for the Biden campaign and that is that 26 percent of the people in this survey say that they could change their mind still.

I mean, you know, 69 percent is a pretty big number of people who say that they have their mind made up. Maybe that's not surprising in today's politics, but 26 percent means that there's still a chance.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: You mean from the Joe Biden perspective?

BASH: From the Joe Biden perspective.

CHALIAN: Yes. Well, first of all, there are four months left.

BASH: Yes, I know.

CHALIAN: Obviously, but this is a competitive race. But --

BASH: I was movie quoted.

CHALIAN: No, no, I know. 5 percent, no first choice. Add to the 26 percent could change minds. That's 31 percent. That's nearly a third of the electorate. Now, we saw among that third of the electorate right now, those that do have a choice are splitting rather evenly between Trump and Biden.

So it's a big, tall order for Biden in terms of not just getting people who have no first choice and persuading them to come over and move them over, but actually taking somebody who right now is loosely aligned and supporting with Trump, but movable and bring them over. That is a pocket he can go to. There's no doubt about that.

BASH: And that speaks to, well, obviously the Supreme Court decision, any president, particularly if you are Joe Biden, would have to come out and start pushing the ramifications that he sees of that decision in a very big way. It helps campaign wise that it fits very much into the narrative that they already have out there about -- and that they're pushing hard -- about Donald Trump and this poll helps to sort of explain how that could work for the Biden campaign.

Would you vote -- would your vote be more against Trump or for Biden? 63 percent say against Trump. So, arguing, guys, look at the sort of free reign that Donald Trump could have when he goes back to the office if he actually wins, thanks to the Supreme Court, that fits into where the voters who they need potentially are.

OLIVIER KNOX, SENIOR NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT: Right. And I think one of the dynamics of this race is that each candidate is trying to convince voters that casting a ballot for the other guy isn't just wrong, it's unthinkable. And I think that the Supreme Court decision here gives the Biden argument a little nudge here because of the sweeping immunity that it affords this president and future presidents.

EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: I mean, and Democrats have employed this strategy to some effect, you know, recently. We can look at the midterms most recently to see how they try to frame these elections in existential terms. You might not necessarily want to vote for this person, but this is not an election about an individual, this is an election about these life altering issues.

You'll hear them say, listen, you all didn't vote for Hillary in 2016, and look at what happened to the Supreme Court.


So I would imagine we're going to continue to hear that type of messaging. Vote on the issue, even if you aren't a fan of Joe Biden. But the problem is that isn't really an affirmative case or an inspirational message. And sometimes that's kind of off putting and draining for voters. They get tired of hearing that.

YASMEEN ABUTALEB, WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: I think that's exactly right. I mean, the campaign and Democrats have always felt as long as you could make this race about Donald Trump and not a referendum on Joe Biden, then he might have a chance, but I think the problem is the debate made it more about Joe Biden than Donald Trump.

The Supreme Court immunity case, of course, strengthens his argument that Trump will have unchecked power and that U.S. democracy is at stake. But I think to the point that about a third of the electorate is movable, I do think it's important to note that Biden was having a number of problems with the electorate before the debate on issues unrelated to his age.

I think polls consistently show his age is the top concern among Democrats and Dependents sort of across the board, but he was having issues among key voter groups on a range of other issues, whether it's the Israel-Gaza war, whether it's the economy, people, you know, very upset about inflation. And even their argument on abortion, I think, only takes them so far because in some of the states they need to win, abortion is protected. And so it might not be the motivator that they hope it is.

BASH: I want to look at something that our friends over at Axios had out this morning, and it's called Behind the Curtain: The Imperial Presidency in Waiting. "He'd stretch the powers of the presidency in ways not seen in our lifetime. He says this consistently and clearly -- so it's not conjecture. Thanks to Monday's Supreme Court ruling, Trump could pursue his plans without fear of punishment or restraint."

And then I just want to show something that the former president posted before the Supreme Court decision. This was on Sunday about Liz Cheney. This is something that he reposted. "This is the type of thing that demonstrates yet again you are not stable adult and are not fit for office." That was Cheney's response because the underlying post is saying that Liz Cheney is guilty of treason.

CHALIAN: And that he wants a televised trial of her and would clearly, you know, want to see her jailed for treason in some way. This is, you know, this is the piece of retribution. You and Jake asked about this at the debate, his -- and pressed him on this promise of political retribution.

His answer was, oh, my retribution is just going to be success in this election. But he continues to put things like that out on social media, which clearly raised the question. Well, no, is success at the election just your retribution, or are you going to use the levers of government to go after your political opponents, which he has said he is going to do and feels justified in doing. And the Supreme Court ruling, some may interpret to say, loosened the guardrails a little bit around that for him to do just that.

KNOX: Yes, I mean, he's -- there's plenty of reporting about plans for -- to herd undocumented immigrants into camps to send red state national guards to blue cities and states. You know, all these other sort of enormous plans and he -- you're right, he puts that stuff on social media. He also -- he tells his supporters.

You know, at the debate, he kind of watered it down, but he tells his supports that there will be retribution. He talks about his -- the court cases against him as being entirely justifying his future use of the Justice Department to persecute his political critics. I mean, it's all out there.

MCKEND: And from now in until November, Democrats will really hammer that home. That'll be so core to their election argument. The big question is, is it going to be enough?

BASH: Yes. I mean, one thing I was thinking though, is one of the things that he and others have said is, well, you know, we're going to prosecute Joe Biden for what he's done at the border. Well, now you can't. Not that they really probably were, but, you know, it kind of cuts both ways.

Adam Kinzinger was on the show yesterday saying, well, you know, now Joe Biden pretty much has the ability to send SEAL Team 6 after Donald Trump if he wants to. I mean, he was being somewhat facetious, but somewhat not.

ABUTALEB: Yes, I mean, the Trump campaign already has this Project 2025 platform that seeks to basically eviscerate the federal government. You know, they have been quite systematic in figuring out how they can gut a lot of the protections that exist in the federal government, getting rid of career federal workers. And now there's this ruling that says he can sort of proceed with that carte blanche and go even further.

I mean, Trump is -- I think it's important to remember in his first term, Trump was already pushing the powers of the presidency in ways we couldn't imagine without this sort of ruling. And now he's been told he can essentially use DOJ to prosecute his enemies, and that would be protected. The -- there might be a delay in the Manhattan case because he could classify that as an official act. So it's just -- I think there's still a lot to be seen about just how far this ruling will go.


KNOX: And if --

CHALIAN: You know, Dana -- sorry, he'll be -- he'll surround himself with a lot more loyalists this time around should he get into the White House, than existed last time.

BASH: Yes.

KNOX: And if you're wondering how they're going to stretched the definition of official acts, don't forget that Bill Barr, one of his attorneys general said that denying that he'd sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll was an official act.

BASH: Yes.

KNOX: So they're going to stretch it.

BASH: It sure are. All right. Great discussion and reporting. Thank you so much.

Coming up, a Democratic lawmaker will be here to talk about the Biden campaign, CNN's new poll and more. Stay with us.


BASH: Our brand new CNN poll is revealing a harsh reality for the Biden campaign. 75 percent of registered voters think Democrats would be better off if someone other than Joe Biden was at the top of the presidential ticket. But this is also really key. The general election horse race has essentially stayed the same despite that debate last Thursday.


Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Jake Auchincloss of Massachusetts. Thank you so much for being here. Let's start with that new poll. Most voters think Democrats can't win with Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. Does that worry you?

REP. JAKE AUCHINCLOSS (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Yes. This election has always been a very close run thing, probably 200,000 votes in five swing states, and we got to take every single voter seriously. Joe Biden has the delegates. He is the presumptive nominee. It's up to him whether and how to go forward.

As he's going forward, though, he needs to make this a team sport. We need to see his cabinet and strong Democratic surrogates out there making the case to the American public, not just about the accomplishments of the last four years, but also about the vision for the future.

People like Pete Buttigieg talking about infrastructure, not just that we pass, but how it's going to empower communities throughout the country. Gina Raimondo talking about how we're going to outcompete China. Senator Warren talking about student debt and college affordability. And Dana, probably most importantly, Vice President Kamala Harris acting as the prosecutor she once was and just tearing apart Donald Trump limb by limb for his lies and his attacks on reproductive health.

BASH: You mentioned everybody but the president. How much more do we have to see of him?

AUCHINCLOSS: The president's the top of the ticket. Obviously, his engagement with the media in more unscripted settings, putting him in formats where he is at ease and where he can demonstrate the acuity that he has shown over the last four years, particularly in foreign policy, where his 50 years of experience and his relationships really matter and where his track record, I think, is quite strong.

Walking a tightrope in the Middle East, making the Indo-Pacific a stronger set of alliances to counter China's rise, defending the free world in Ukraine by rallying NATO and no settings. I think that he is really a strong commander-in-chief, and I think that can be a prominent part of the go forward.

BASH: I want to play something that your colleague, Congressman Quigley, said this morning on CNN.


REP. MIKE QUIGLEY (D), ILLINOIS: We have to be honest with ourselves that it wasn't just a horrible night, but I won't go beyond that out of my respect and understanding President Joe Biden, a very proud person who has served us extraordinarily well for 50 years. But it's his decision. I just want him to appreciate at this time just how much it impacts not just his race, but all the other races coming in November.


BASH: Do you agree?

AUCHINCLOSS: I agree that it's not helpful, for example, if the Biden campaign is seen as dismissing concerns from voters, from Democratic elected officials, from donors and, you know, calling them the bed wetter brigade or other offhanded comments like that. I think that's not helpful. I think it's always important to engage with and recruit voters and not condescend to them.

BASH: CNN's Jeff Zeleny and MJ Lee, my colleagues, are reporting on a Biden campaign call to hundreds of donors where the campaign chair offered a staunch defense, not just of the campaign generally and of the president staying in the race, but specifically about his health. Is that also something that the campaign and the White House should be talking about revealing more publicly?

AUCHINCLOSS: Yes, because it's a top concern for voters and you don't get anywhere in politics by telling voters that they should reprioritize their issues or they shouldn't believe their eyes and their ears. 50 million Americans watched your debate and that it is a voting issue right now. And anytime it's a voting issue, a campaign needs to have a strategy for how to confront it.

Part of that is, I think, putting the president in positions where his acuity is most salient. And that, like I said, foreign policy, I think is really strong there for him. And part of it also is going back to how he described himself as a bridge to the next generation. Let's build that bridge and let's charge across of it.

Some of the Democratic Party's brightest stars, people like Raimondo and Buttigieg and Wes Moore and Raphael Warnock and Kamala Harris. We can make a strong case to the American public about what the next four years looks like with a team approach to campaigning and to governance, especially in contrast to Project 2025, which the Supreme Court functionally just green lit, Dana, and which will really include the politicization of the entire federal government.

I mean, Donald Trump wants to make it so that he can spend money without Congress's approval. He can ignore judicial rulings, and he can politicize not just the Department of Justice to turn it to his own law firm, but also things like Medicare and Social Security. Those things are going to be very real for constituents when we start to see that basic public services are predicated on your partisan leanings.

BASH: Congressman Jake Auchincloss, it's always good to see you. Thank you so much for being here.

AUCHINCLOSS: It's good to be with you.

BASH: And there's much more ahead. Stay with us.




LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON, 36TH U.S. PRESIDENT: My fellow Americans, I am about to sign into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I want to take this occasion to talk to you about what that law means to every American.


BASH: That was Lyndon Baines Johnson, president in 1964 just before he signed the Civil Rights Act. That was, of course, 60 years ago today. It was passed exactly one year after President Kennedy's proposal. The act outlawed segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin though voting rights took another year to pass.


Still, July 2nd, 1964 represented a significant victory for the civil rights movement that was led by such advocates as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., A. Philip Randolph, and Dr. Dorothy Height. The White House released a proclamation to remember the historic day, saying in part, "It is still the task of our time to build a democracy where every American is treated with dignity and has an equal opportunity to follow their dreams. We must continue to move forward together, stand with one another, and choose democracy over autocracy and beloved community over chaos."

That's it for Inside Politics today. Thank you so much for watching. One quick programming note, join me on the 4th of July. I will be hosting CNN's Fourth in America special along with my colleague Boris Sanchez. Enjoy live firework shows from across the country and must see musical performances. We've got a lot of great stuff.

Please be sure to tune in 7:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN. CNN News Central starts after the break.